For many of us online meetings have become the new norm, at least for now. I’m encouraged that so many leaders have adapted to this new way of ministry. I believe that the use of online tools in our local churches should continue and can benefit us greatly. Online ministry can be fun, frustrating, and fulfilling– all at the same time. It can be both interesting and intimidating. It is time consuming, but time well invested.
We have the greatest opportunity ever to fulfill the Great Commission of Christ through online platforms. Church leaders are finding very creative ways of staying in touch with church members and connecting with online guest. This is very exciting, yet sometimes can be very exhausting.
During this time of rapid change of ministry, many of you are finding yourself both overwhelmed and overloaded with learning new ways of ministry. It is almost like the glass of milk illustration– is it half full or half empty? It has a lot to do with perception. Is this time an opportunity or distraction to ministry? To me it is an opportunity for the church to rise up!
The biggest challenge for many has been finding time to unplug. How do we find time to step away from the computer and relax, refresh, and recharge? Yesterday, my phone popped up a reminder of my average “screen time” last week. While I know this is a feature of my phone, it is almost as if the Holy Spirit used this to remind me of the need to encourage us to unplug occasionally.
Here are four things I have learned over the past several weeks:
Determine: I must determine what “tool of ministry” is working best for me. It is like electronic devices. Electronic devices usually have more apps and tools then we will ever need. We only use the ones that are most beneficial, and disregard the others.
Improve: Whatever tools you are using for online ministry, learn them well. At first people are forgiving, but as time advances people will expect better quality with your online presence.
Schedule: I can spread my online meetings and online recordings over a seven-day work week, or I can be intentional in scheduling my week allowing for time to unplug.
Not just for pastors: Everyone can have an online presence in ministry. The need is great, the harvest is ready, and we have been praying for workers in His field.
I encourage you to find time to unplug. I promise you that when you make time to unplug for a few hours, or a day or two, it will improve how you do ministry. Rearrange your week, and find time to recharge. You will be refreshed!
Thank you for serving in this unprecedented time! You are making a difference!
-Bishop Tim Lamb